Senator Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is out with a statement (not yet posted online) in advance of President Obama's health care speech, and it is a pretty good barometer of where the middle-of-the-road Republicans in Congress are on the issue. Mr. Grassley is not at all averse to imposing new government regulations on health insurance companies. He thinks the government needs to protect consumers from these companies: "insurers should be prohibited from denying coverage or charging exorbitant rates for pre-existing conditions and from imposing annual and lifetime limits on benefits. Stronger consumer protections should be enacted."
But Mr. Grassley is wary of more government spending, saying, "People question whether the deficit-financed stimulus bill passed last winter did any good. They don't think the Federal Reserve's bailout efforts are working for them. Big banks and even automakers have been essentially nationalized, the deficit is forecast to be more than $9 trillion over the next decade, and working Americans don't see how giving the government a bigger role in health care makes any sense."